In order to address the claims made by typical mainstream layman and economist alike, we must first briefly outline how the modern American monetary system came about.
Prior to the establishment of the United States, this geographic area was settled by scattered groups of primarily English and Spaniards. As will occur in any location, the choice medium of exchange arises as a function of scarcity and demand. For the early colonials, this ranged from beaver pelts and corn in the northern areas to fish and tobacco in the south. As the region began to grow, gold and silver coins were imported and used frequently in the cities and for foreign trade.